In the 1960s-70s, writer, William S. Burroughs, experimented with images and words in scrapbooks as a way to expand upon his thinking. Collage and text in scrapbooks gave him a way to visually/conceptually travel across space and time with his writing.


He clipped and placed photographs  headline, or story, from newspapers that reminded him of something he was writing or took photos of a street scene and placed them in his scrapbook with his own writing. This created and built complex associations, which, he argued, expanded his consciousness.


According to, William S. Burroughs, he linked association blocks rather than the linear progression of traditional logic. 


Burroughs collaborated with Brion Gysin on scrapbook techniques and other art/text projects. One scrapbook was meant for publishing, but never was and is now in the collection of the LACMA. It was entitled ‘The Third Mind’.


Artist: William S. Burroughs.


Sourced from LACMA, 2009.

William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin, pages from Green Scrapbook, c. 1971-73.
William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin, pages from Black Scrapbook, c. 1963-64.